So you’ve picked out a space and you’re ready to rent it out for extra income. Good decision. But before you take in your first renter, run through this checklist to make sure your role as a landlord will be a smooth one.
Clean It Up
Try to look at your unit from a renter’s first impression point of view. Even if you are just renting out space for storage purposes, make sure it is clean and inviting. That means dust out all of the cobwebs, replace any cracked or broken windows, remove any nails sticking out of the walls, patch any holes in the walls or floor, and anything else that looks like a safety hazard. Think of it in terms of dollars and cents: anything that looks ugly or unclean is going to be less likely to attract a renter.
Pictures say a thousand words and all that, so take several great pictures of your storage space. Make sure it is well lit and showcases all the awesome things you have to offer. Do you have windows and lots of natural sunlight? Then get a picture of that beautiful sunlight filling up the room. Do you have a security system or heavy steel doors? Get a picture of it. Let your renter imagine themselves there. If they can imagine it, and they like what are imagining, then they will be more willing to pay for it.
This is the less fun part about being a landlord, but it is nevertheless important. Familiarize yourself with taxes and insurance regarding your rental unit. Also, if you are not the legal owner of the property, then you must have your landlord’s permission in whatever capacity that allows you to legally sublet the space. If you are the owner, contact your home insurance company and ask them about any requirements that are needed. Finally, consult your local tax laws regarding extra income from renters.
Tell Your Neighbors
Let your neighbors know that you are becoming a storage host so they are not alarmed to see people they don’t know going in and out of your garage, shed, or home when you’re not there. The last thing anyone wants is an overly zealous neighbor calling the police on someone who has every right to be there.
It is acceptable to have a set of rules that all parties agree to beforehand to alleviate any misunderstandings later. When renters register on Hopperstock they already understand that contraband or anything illegal is not permitted to be stored. Beyond that, you may have other rules you want to set such as hours that access is permitted; noise levels; garbage, oil, and hazardous waste disposal; rules regarding animals or pets, etc. You don’t want to have too many or unnecessary rules, but some are important to ensure that you and your renter have a good working relationship. Make the rules available in your listing agreement and also post them on the premises.
Being a storage host is an exciting prospect that doesn’t require a lot of effort on your part provided you put some initial time and thought into the process. Go through this checklist before taking your first renter and congratulate yourself for becoming a prepared and knowledgeable landlord. Now you can register your space!